To understand the demands of a question, you need to know the structure of the paper you are writing for. Literature papers tend to have a very set structure, with a number of assessment objectives. Only some of these will be examined on each question. I recommend getting hold of some mark schemes for your papers, and looking at what precisely they want to see. They may be looking for ideas around context, the usage of language to create an effect, or something else!
Secondly to that, you want to know how to deconstruct a question. Doing this can be good practice. Here is an example.
‘Dystopian writing frequently suggests that men, not women, are responsible for society’s problems.’ By comparing The Handmaid’s Tale with at least one other text prescribed for this topic, discuss how far you agree with this view.
So, for this question, it is important to deconstruct the quote. You might consider what 'society's problems' are, and see how the text you've studied explores the problems of society. You might question what responsible really means in this context. Is it that they cause these problems? Or is it simply allowing those problems to persist? You would probably pick up the more general theme of gender, and consider how the genre of dystopia deals with gender issues in a wider context.
You shouldn't feel intimidated by that, as that's some A Level stuff I remember. You're not expected to do that at GCSE (and that amount of deconstruction is more of a higher level A Level skill,) but it is a good skill to have, and will serve you well.
The second one has a simple answer that can be a little difficult to implement? Your essay should be an argument. Here are some tips:
- Plan, plan and plan again! You should have some idea of how long you have for a question. At A level if we had 1 hr 15 mins for a question we were expected to take 30 mins to plan. This will enable you to see the argumentative line of your essay.
- Develop an argument! Your essay is trying to convince the reader of something. You find an angle to look at a text, and you convince the reader that your argument is solid through an easy to follow, logical argument.
- Have a good structure. In your introduction, you should introduce what you are talking about and how you will be talking about it. Your paragraphs should set out supporting arguments for this hypothesis. You should not state anything in your introduction that is not obvious, or that you don't intend to prove in the meat of your essay. Your conclusion should tie all the ends together
If you want someone to have a quick look over an extract of your writing I'm sure you could post it on TSR, and someone will.
thank you for that though, i get it